Recipe scrapbook

I decided to buy a big notebook when I was at university and write and/or stick my favourite recipes in it, to keep them all in one place.  Fast forward ten or eleven years, and this battered book (pun intended) now contains a good few yummy recipes for starters, mains, and especially desserts and baking.  Along with a huge pile of printouts and pages quickly torn from magazines from newspapers and supermarkets, the shelf in our kitchen was creaking under the weight of paper I needed to sort out.

Meaning business, I got my guillotine out (no, I’m not joking, I have a stationery problem), and started trimming recipes into little stick-able squares.  It took me about six hours (whilst watching my daughter.  And TV.) and my book is now as fat as can be.  But it’s so satisfying to have sorted it all out and have all my recipes in one place, really cathartic.

microwave brownie

I got so inspired I had to stop halfway through to make microwave brownie in a mug – yum!  I did share it with Barry, in my defence.  I’m not sure what the rules are on sharing other people’s recipes on blogs, so, instead, here’s my mum’s foolproof recipe for buns that I don’t even need to look at any more…

My mum’s always told me (this does about 18 buns or a cake): weigh 3 medium eggs with the shells on, then weigh out the same in sugar, SR flour and butter. Cream the butter and sugar together, then add in the flour and eggs bit by bit.  Add a dash of vanilla essence if you’re feeling fancy. Always use a wooden spoon, not a metal one. Pop them in the oven at around 180C for 20/25 mins until golden brown and try not to open the door while they’re in there.  Ice them when they’ve cooled.  Delicious, and so simple!

Depressing visual representation of all the jobs left to do: the kitchen

This is part one of a two-part mini-series whereby I put all the work we’ve already done into perspective and think about just how much more time and money we still need to dedicate to these two rooms of the house that are taking over all of our free time and finances. This is part one: the kitchen. Tune in tomorrow for an exciting look at the long list of tasks still to do in the living room.

1. Sand and repaint the ceiling

2. Cut skirting boards to size and repaint

3. Fit skirting boards

4. Finish painting the kitchen walls

5. Finish sanding and fit the peninsula

6. Tile the kitchen walls

7. Paint the stairs wall, handrail and ceiling

8. Replace all of the switches with brushed silver ones

9. Get a condenser tumble dryer

Now I know where/when home is

I had a few responses, on here, in person, and on facebook, to the Home is where…? post.

Barry, for one, would like to clarify that when he says he is going home to Northern Ireland, he means the country, but when he’s coming back here, home means our house specifically.

My friend Bryonie, who recently moved to Australia, said she’s not sure where home is now.  But she also introduced me to an expression I hadn’t heard before: you can be homesick for a time, not a place.  I kind of like this because it’s true, but it’s also sad because it’s not something you can ever get back.  Perhaps the fact that I’d like to return to Howden, where my heart is, is just me longing for my childhood.